A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
- Proverbs 10:1
"August" means "respected" and "impressive." Around Malibu, August means surf and sun, beach parties and barbecues, no school and as August fades into September, late summer morphs into Indian Summer - the best time of year for the last best place in Southern California.
As a California kid and a Malibu Kid I should love August, but I hate it. I have long hated the month of August. That’s when Carol the Mom (CtM) passed away at the start of a new millennium. I felt sad when she died. On a dreary rainy night I went walking in the drizzling rain up and down the hills of our suburban Maryland streets. Shuffling along, mindlessly drifting by houses in the ‘hood, I paused under the misty glow of a streetlamp. There by the garbage stood a soggy pile of books. Old encyclopedias left out in the rain. I reached for the top copy and gazed at the letters on the binding - Who's Who 1991 Volume P-T. Funny I thought. Turning the pages, I found the name ‘RAPF’ and the movie career biography for Matt the StepFather (MtSF). My parents' names stared back at me. CtM and MtSF on the same page. Their names, side by side, weeping together in the rain.
BOOM - there was a war (WWII). BOOM BOOM - My biological parents saw themselves in a mirror. And they fell in love with the mirror.
A couple of innocents. CtM was the beautiful blond-haired, first daughter of the Mayor of flipping Beverly Hills. She was popular, sociable, ‘most likely to succeed:’ a handsome woman of her day.
Bob the Father (BtF) was an intellectual diamond, first and only son of his widowed mother Esther, who came West from New York in the early 1930s to live with her extended family of Jewish brothers, aunts and cousins. BtF soared through coursework with the wings of a legal eagle: Phi Beta Kappa (UCLA Journalism), Political Science Masters from Columbia, J.D. from USC.
My parents were august - respected and impressive. ‘The Producers,’ as I affectionately called my parents, spent the postwar years in London where BtF worked as an Associated Press correspondent writing wire stories for the trade. They lived in trendy Sloan Square and on some nights at a local pub they listened to Noel Coward at the piano bar, singing his brilliant and witty cabaret songs to a crowd of BOOM BOOMers.
Sketch by Piet By-Numbers (Dutch Master).